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Alaskan NORAD Region practices response capability in live fly exercise

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - The Alaskan U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, along with its Continental United States and Canadian counterparts, will participate in Exercise Amalgam Dart Tuesday through Thursday off the coasts of Alaska, western Canada and the northwestern United States.

The exercise is designed to hone NORAD, ANR, CONR and Canadian NORAD Region's intercept and identification operations. These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure a rapid response capability.

ANR provides airspace surveillance and control and directs all air sovereignty activities over Alaska. CANR and CONR control airspace in Canada and the continental United States respectively.

U.S. Air Force C-21 jets will take on the role as tracks of interest. They will fly during daylight hours at altitudes above 15,000 feet off the Alaskan, British Columbian, Washington and Oregon Coasts.

For the ANR piece of the exercise, the 611th Air and Space Operations Center here will scramble Air Force fighters and direct them to intercept the C-21s. The fighters will be F-22 Raptors from the 90th Fighter Squadron.  An E-3B Sentry from the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron will provide airborne warning and control.  KC-135 Stratotankers from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell AFB, Kansas, will provide aerial refueling to the E-3 and F-22s.  Alaska National Guard members assigned to the 176th Air Control Squadron will also track the aircraft in the Regional Air Operations Center here.

CANR and CONAR will scramble fighters as the TOIs move into their respective airspace areas.

NORAD and ANR have conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command's response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD has responded to more than 3,300 possible air threats in the United States and has flown more than 55,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.

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